Joanna Funk

music, gardening and my dog

The new face of Roaring Lion

Roaring Lion has been evolving in the first half of 2023, and we actually have four new faces to present to you. Over the past few months, several good people shared the stage with us, and we’ve finally decided how best to go forward as we strive to deliver Bob Marley’s beautiful message to you in fresh and exciting ways.

There is so much to learn and enjoy from performing with new people. We hope everyone who recently sang with us at the Waitangi celebrations in Kingston, Southport and Eagleby, at the Burleigh Town Tavern, and at the Hound & Stag Brewing Co also took away something good for themselves. We certainly feel like we have grown from the experience.

So, please meet our three backing vocalists (L to R): Sisilia Teiti, Evie Tinirau and Carlee M Williams. These ladies have a wide range of performing experience between them, and we are so fired up that our band is shaping up like this. Powerhouse vocals! Wow!

I find myself grinning from ear to ear at practice, because their excitement and laughter is totally infectious! It’s a brilliant vibe.

Now, we would like to introduce Roaring Lion’s new frontman, our lead vocalist Alejandro Larrandaburu.

Ale’s journey has been largely split between Australia and Uruguay. Luckily for us, he is now based on the Gold Coast, and will be fronting our next show at the Koala Tavern, Redlands on May 13 2023. Yaah! We cannot wait!

He was barely off the plane from a recent trip but joined us to sing some songs at the Hound & Stag, and we were very happy! Here he is below with his mum and brother, from the Gold Coast.

Ale is a dedicated, multi-genre musician of some twenty years, with a deep love of reggae and Uncle Bob’s music. We will expand our repetoire with some of the songs he knows, and likewise he’ll be learning some of our favourites. He has our list of 45 songs to be going with …

Time to thank some friends

For a few months we were a band preparing for shows, without knowing who our lead vocalist would be. That’s big time stress! We are massively grateful to Nelson Watene, who had the courage to step up and take on three hours of our music. It’s a huge task! During that time Nelson was hit with illness, and yet he championed on! Nelson has the happiest stage personality and the warmest heart, and he will continue to perform some songs with us, including in this upcoming show in May. We are blessed that he is in our circle of friends.

Roaring Lion is a ten-piece band now, and many people have been involved in this band, either as past band members, or depping for one of us when the need arose. It’s a big family, and we are held up 💯 by our spouses, partners, children and other friends and family members. In a recent Facebook post about new and past musicians, our lead guitarist Maui said:

Huge love to all those amazing musos who have graced the stage with us to date: Glen Naera, Peter Letts, Bronson Niblett, Vince Rangi, Aleisha Rangi, Tui Paka, and the massive hard work, time and huge effort that has been contributed over the years. Also big ups to Jason Otene, Kurtis Marere M Tai, Ani Charlie-Aerengamate and Nelson Watene for their awesome musicianship and talents, taking the stage with us.

Looking forward to what the future holds for the Roaring Lion whanau and continuing to pay homage to Bob Marley’s music.

Maui — Lead Guitarist, Roaring Lion

Last but not least, a big shout out to Dan Aurora our soundman. We love his work, and the way he works! Here he is having a laugh with Maui. What an awesome bloke.

So that’s our update. We have a busy few months ahead and really hope you will join us along the way! After all,

we are only us, because of you

Love, Roaring Lion

2 responses to “The new face of Roaring Lion”

  1. Beautifully written.
    I think your true call in life is music and writing .

    1. That is the nicest thing you could ever say to me. Thank you Sol.

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About Joanna

Joanna is British Australian. Her early career was in financial news in London. That ended in 2008. Joanna moved to Sabah, her parents’ birthplace, where she wrote a blog about musicians, which became a book. Joanna came to Australia in 2012 and started this blog — her second. These days, she writes mostly about music, her garden, and trips to Sabah. Oh, and Wookie the Havanese.

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